Goal horns in professional hockey

Since fans as a collective group has been a major focus of this project, I’ve been dissecting their experiences in relation to the game. One experience that I’ve begun to question and loathe is the goal horn in every professional hockey arena.

These tend to go off after every goal the home team scores and also after a win. But these annoying sounds didn’t always exist. There used to be a time when it was the fans in attendance that would rock the building.

I personally don’t understand the purpose. My guess it’s a way for a team to make up for the lack of noise in their buildings (ahem, Phoenix, Florida, Long Island) and make the arena seem like a wild place to be to attract new fans.

To me, these goals horns are a way for professional hockey teams to control their fans. Cheering/supporting/heckling are a few of the ways for group of fans to interact with the game. A goal horn just replaces the fans with a cheering squad hired by the team.

This really limits what a fan community can do. We’ve seen from Premier League soccer chants, goalie taunts and blogs the kind of stuff fans can come up with. When fans as a group are unrestricted, the possibilities are endless. The goal horn is just a phoney representation of what professional leagues want their fans to be. It’s an attempt to enhance an image and takes away from the genuine expression of fans.

Here’s a great goal celebration from a high school game: